Anyway I watched the senior thesis films on the DVDs that the schools hand out (they're usually free, nowadays they're up on youtube and on the school websites). I'm warning you now: never watch college theses with an innocent younger sibling, because you don't know what they're going to show... I have to say a lot of scenes were unprecedented and left me traumatized.
SPEAKING of School of Visual Arts, that is also one of my choices for art school. Its computer art department is by far the most prolific in New York City. But I'm not sure if I want to live in NYC.. and there are several reasons that I'm a bit hesistant about going there.
Then there was Neo Afan, a motion graphics artist, you can see his demo reel at his site http://www.pixelrevolver.com/.
All the SVA students I met in person were BFA students, so all undergraduates. Usually a person who goes to graduate for computer art was an undergraduate at a university.
After watching student work, I began to wonder what professional short films were like. So I armed myself with the best sites ever! Youtube and Wikipedia. Here's the list of all the Academy Award winning Animated Shorts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Animated_Short_Film
From there I started searching one at a time. There are so many amazing little jewels out there... Seriously. Well, some of the films were kind of disturbing (there will always be one), and I didn't really get them, but there's probably someone else out there who appreciates it more than I do.
A few of my favorite animated shorts are : Father and Daughter, made in 2000 by Michael Dudok De Wit. It nearly brought me to tears! Then again, I can get emotional with these sort of things http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb-0Py80cMY
I also love Alexander Petrov's the Old Man and the Sea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1EbNvHDxbAbased on Hemingway's work, and My Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq7nLVoaPX8which is based on the book by Ivan Shmelyov.
Alexander Petrov is a hardcore Russian animator who does EVERYTHING with pastel oil painting on glass panels... glass. I have never seen anything like his work... they're literally oil paintings coming to life...indeed his works are treasures!
Hedge Hog in the Fog 1975
Alexander Petrov was a student of Yuri Norstein, one of the pioneers in Russian animation when he made Hedgehog in the Fog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRsXU4Q6a0Q which has a dark undertone but is really surreal and beautiful in its own way.
Russian animation is truly a world of its own, completely free from the technological influences of today...so far everything I've seen is done by hand crafts. I should make a separate entry on animations done in different countries...soon it will be time to go global!
Anyway another Academy award winning animated short I like is Harvie Krumpethttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouyVS6HOFeo, an Australian claymation by a man named Adam Elliot. It's about a Polish man who immigrates to Australia and goes through a lot of strange and often unfortunate things in his life, yet somehow he remains optimistic til' the end. I didn't really like the film at first, but I became more attracted to it as I watched it again and again. I don't know what's with the dark undertones in award winning shorts, I think that's the reason why they win... because you can't make any old dark undertoned film under a corporation like Disney.
Adam Elliots' coming out with a new short called Mary and Max, http://www.maryandmax.com/ about a middle-aged Jewish man with Asperger Syndrome in America who befriends an eight year old chubby Australian misfit named Mary through pen pal letters. Sounds odd, but because of Harvie Krumpet, I wouldn't judge too quickly.
Shane Acker is going to direct a full length 3-D animated feature called "9", which is based on his academy award winning short of the same name. He's co-directing with Tim Burton's producing it, and there are a lot of Burton fans out there... waiting to pounce.Its a new, apocalyptic take on for the 3-D medium, and again with the dark undertones! What's with the dark undertones?! I think its about a man-made doll named 9 who is helped by his doll friends to save the human race...Anyway one thing that bothers me about this film is that all the characters look almost identical, I'm interested to see how they're going to tell them apart based on their characters and not by the number on their backs.
I think I started exploring professional Academy award animated shorts for 2007, the image above is for the nominated film Madame Tutli Putli, which is one of the strangest shorts I've ever seen. Its aesthetically pleasing, but the story has, guess what, a dark undertone that I was a bit creeped out by. What was interesting (and kind of creepy) was that they filmed Mme Tutli Putli without any eyes. Then they videotaped the eyes of a hired actress, looking at the marks on walls already prepared by the artists. Then they combined the live action eyes with the puppet, so that Mme Tutli Putli looks like this :
Wow that was a long entry...I hope I didn't drone...my thoughts on animated shorts definitely has to be more organized! Thanks for reading!